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Does Time-Use Data Support the Unitary Model? A Test using Swedish Time-Use Data from 1984 and 1993

  • Hallberg, Daniel

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

Mainly because of data limitations, the unitary model (dating back to Becker, among others) has been the common-used theoretical framework in microanalysis of the household labor supply. Because of its simplicity, the household members are assumed to allocate time and consumption in consensus, having the implication that it is the households, not the individuals themselves, that are the interesting economic agents. In this paper, I study the household decision to supply labor and test if the unitary model holds. What is subject to a test in this paper is the resulting symmetry of the Slutsky matrix, i.e., that the compensated cross-wage effects are equal. The test uses Swedish time-use data from 1984 and 1993. As empirical specification, I use the trans-log, thereby avoiding some of the restrictive assumptions about functional forms that can be found in other studies. Contrary to most other studies, the conclusion is that symmetry cannot be rejected. This suggests that observed household labor supply could be an outcome of the single-criterion model.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2000:14.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 16 Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2000_014
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  17. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1997. "A Test of the Unitary and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 933-55, July.
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  19. Thomas Aronsson & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Magnus Wikström, 2001. "Estimating intrahousehold allocation in a collective model with household production," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 569-584.
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